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Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The Rebellious, Rock ‘n’ Roll, Right-Hand Watch from MB&F

The HM3 ReBel timepiece from MB&F.

The creators of groundbreaking Horological Machine (HM) wristwatch, MB&F, poke the establishment firmly in its “conservatively focused eye” with its newest version of the technically advanced timepiece, the HM3 ReBel.

With this release, all set for Baselworld next week, the boutique Swiss watch firm is passing itself off “as the wild child of haute horlogerie; the lone biker in a black leather jacket when everyone else is wearing grey suits and driving Volvos.”

The “R” in ReBel stands for right (as in hand) and the uppercase “B” means Black (for the case color). The black-coated ReBel is a “rock ‘n’ roll mirror-image” of the HM3 (the third generation of the time machine) designed to be worn on the right wrist—unlike all those fuddy-duddy left-wrist watch wearers.

Like a true rebel, the HM3 ReBel isn’t quite as it first appears, the company said in a statement. Under the ReBel's black PVD-treated white gold case, are charcoal-colored movement plates and bridges that form a darkened backdrop to the 22k rotor.

The HM3 ReBel is also a highly technical wristwatch as well as a statement of attitude. The ReBel's twin cones ergonomically indicate the hours and minutes, with the hour cone capped by a day/night indicator. The top caps of the truncated cones are brazed (not glued) to ensure maximum water-resistance and the red “hands” of the hour and minute indicators are cut by laser to obtain the high precision/minimum mass ratio.

White gold clover-head screws on top of the black case resemble rivets in an upmarket biker's leather jacket, while the large, legible numbers of the over-sized date wheel around the rotor enable the date to be read off easily against an engraved triangle on the case.

The rotor and oscillating balance on top provide a clue that the ReBel's movement, featuring no less than 36 functional jewels and 304 components, is actually inverted. Turning the “Machine” over reveals the technical secret behind the powerful and superbly hand-finished engine: Two large-diameter, high-tech ceramic bearings inside bright blue cages efficiently transmitting power up to the time indication cones and date wheel.

HM3 ReBel is available in limited edition of 18 pieces in black PVD-treated white gold, blackened movement and 22k gold rotor.

Picciotto and Busser
The founder of MB&F, Maximilian Busser, made quite a rebellious choice for the new timepiece’s brand ambassador: Laurent Picciotto. He isn’t a rock star or a movie actor, he is owner of Chronopassion, the world famous Parisian luxury watch store. He is also the flamboyant, eccentric and charismatic promoter of luxury watches. In addition to his haute horlogerie credentials, he’s an accomplished musician and fanatical fan of American rock ‘n’ roll. And he was an early support of Busser when he started MB&F in 2005.

Picciotto is the centerpiece of the company’s advertising campaign for the watch. In the black-and-white ads he slings a black 1972 Les Paul Custom by Gibson, wearing a Lucien Pellat Finet black jacket, black Gérard Sené shoes and Marlboro cigarette. In one photo he and Busser hold the Gibson guitar up high and upside down (pictured above). Of course they are both wearing the HM3 ReBel timepiece on their rebellious right hands.

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